Tallarin Verde

    Tallarin Verde
    LatinoFoodie

    Always on the cutting edge with classics? Then you must try this tallarin verde. A play on pesto, it's a dish that fuses two cuisines, Peruvian and Italian, into one successful dish. With festive colors, it makes a great holiday side dish or an easy dinner for two. 

    Despite its long, storied past, Peruvian cuisine has emerged in recent years as one of the hottest food trends in North America. Italian immigrants introduced pasta, or tallarin, to Peru more than 300 years ago, and since then Italian touches have integrated into the Peruvian culinary viewpoint.

    Tallarin verde is a simple pasta dish packed with flavor from its creamy pesto sauce. While traditional pesto is made from garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and basil, the Peruvian version also includes fresh spinach, queso fresco, and cream. The ingredients are then ground-up (pounded) until they attain a sauce-like consistency. 

    This creamy sauce made with fresh spinach and basil adds a vibrant green hue to the pasta. Kick-in the garlic and jalapeño and presto!, you've got a pesto sauce that is deeply layered in flavors and spice. And the splash of heavy cream will make your sauce smooth and velvety.

    Traditionally, tallarin verde is served alongside grilled flank steak or chicken. For this recipe. we've given you the basics needed to make a killer sauce. How you use it or what you smother it on is completely up to you. Jar any extra sauce for future experimental pairings like pan fried sausages, eggs sunny-side up, grilled shrimp, or a ham and cheese sandwich. Or simply stir in a spoonful into your next bowl of frijoles de la olla.

    Tallarin Verde

    • 1 pound whole wheat rotini pasta
    • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
    • 1/4  to 1/2 cup heavy cream (depending on how creamy you like your pesto)
    • 1/2 cup queso fresco
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded plus some for garnishing 
    • 2 teaspoons garlic, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

    Get the full recipe. 

    About the Author
    LatinoFoodie
    , Contributor
    Based in L.A. Art Rodriguez and Stephen Chavez run the LatinoFoodie blog.